Flash Fiction Challenge: Just The Opening Line

Behold last week’s challenge: “A Terrible Lie.”

(Alternate name for this challenge: “Just The Tip.”)

Normally, this challenge is about utilizing brevity — be it with a 1000 words, 100 words, or three sentences — to tell a complete story. Well, not today, my little red balloons.

Today, I just want a single sentence.

I want to read the opening line to a story.

One you’re just making up now.

One whose opening line will drag me kicking and screaming and shove my face into wanting more.

One whose opening line is sharp, enticing, potent.

So. You’ve got a single sentence to promise a killer story.

I’ll keep the challenge open for a week.

Winner gets a postcard in the mail from yours truly.

This postcard shall contain a piece of writing advice on it for you and you alone.

You’ve got one sentence and one week. Enter by 4/13/12 at noon EST.

Enter below in the comments — normally I’d have you post elsewhere, but these will be brief.


To clarify, please enter only once.

229 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Just The Opening Line”

  1. “Princess Victorya forced the heel of her slipper further into her would-be mugger’s throat, took the last haul of her Camel unfiltered, then tossed the butt into the asshole’s face.”

  2. Despite the blood and the smoke, the screaming and wailing; despite the scotch-soaked promise she’d broken; even despite the fucking ferris wheel toppling and on fire, I still loved her.

  3. An unreasonably gorgeous reaper with a penchant for pink stood at the door, making it utterly impossible for me to focus on the task at hand.

  4. There is a silence that overtakes the room when he storms out, curses and oaths aimed at God and everyone overtaking my hearing and bouncing off concrete walls and looming brick towers all around, a silence promising recompense for his actions – the erratic motions of the insane man, my friend – something for which there will never be repayment, and in this silence it is suddenly so crystalline and clear to me that I have lost him, that I will never again see him as he was just then, before the words spoke to him, before he lost his soul on a warm night in this anonymous city.

  5. I once knew a man who treated a yellow Appaloosa like a piece of crap.

    I have the rest of the story too, and atm, food poisoning. Will post story on my site when I feel better.
    Awesome posts!

  6. It’s funny how a single phone call can change your life–and by “funny” I mean “soul-crushing”, but maybe someday we’ll all be able to look back on this and laugh.

  7. As so many things are wont to do these days our tale begins with a man who has recently imbibed just a few too many beverages of a beer-like nature, although whether or not this was the fault of the rather inconvenient pink unicorn currently occupying our protagonist’s upstairs bedroom will be left, I’m sure, to your able imagination.

  8. “I don’t care if he is a fucking Rancaster! You tell that cocky sonovabitch to land that plane!” The Commodore’s outburst cut through the low murmur of the bridge like a hot knife.

  9. When you’re locked in a top secret government bunker with a disgraced CIA agent, a stripper and a Columbian drug runner you just want out, and if it wasn’t for the polar bear we probably would never have made it out of there alive.

  10. The sun rose over the parched desert landscape, glittering off sand, rock and one distinctive enormous rusted arch; “Welcome home” it seemed to say, “Welcome to St. Louis”.

  11. OOOOTAY.

    I’m a day late, but hey, you try keeping up with my 10-month-old.

    I’ve gotten a winner, but first, some comments: some very strong opening lines here. Some also not so strong — and quite a few with typos and errors and misused words. People. PEOPLE. Check yourself. ‘Fore you wreck yourself.

    Here, then, is the winner.

    James Hamilton with:

    “My deathbed still hadn’t turned up.”

    I want to read that story.

    James — email me. Terribleminds at Gmail dot com. Hit me with your physical mailing address.

    Rock on.

    — c.

Leave a Reply to Albert Berg Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: